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Officers Approved for Voluntary Separation: The Air Force has approved the early separation requests of about 300 officers in non-high-in-demand specialties. These officers are taking advantage of the service's voluntary separation pay program. They must now leave active duty service by Oct. 1. These voluntary reductions are part of the service's broader efforts to reduce the active duty force by about 1,400 airmen by the end of Fiscal 2012 to meet the Congressionally authorized end strength of 332,800. Because of them, the upcoming reduction-in-force board in September will be less ambitious in scope. "Depending on year group size and competitive category, we may only need to RIF up to 5 percent compared to the initial 10 percent projection," said Maj. Gen. Sharon Dunbar, USAF's force management policy director, in a release. The RIF will select the most qualified officers for retention, regardless of career field. (See also Shedding Some Muscle.)